Understanding how high pellet-to-fine ratio feed impacts on-farm nutrient segregation over time

C. M. Poholsky, J. W. Boney

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On-farm nutrient segregation is influenced by manufacturing techniques, pellet-to-fine ratio (P:F), and feed line length. Additional research to understand nutrient segregation over time is warranted. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine how feed and nutrients travel throughout a commercial poultry house over a 5-d period. High P:F feed (85:15) was fed to commercial turkeys as part of a standard grow-out. Two experiments were conducted concurrently, differing in feed sample collection techniques. Samples were collected from 5 feed pan locations (FPL), designated at every 15 m of the 75 m feed lines. In experiment 1, residual feed was collected for analysis. In experiment 2, different feed pans were emptied of residual feed and then filled before collection. Measured variables included P:F, near-infrared spectrophotometer (NIRS) predicted nutrients, gross energy, phytase activity, amino acids (AA), and mineral concentrations. Data were analyzed in a repeated measure ANOVA using PROC MIXED in SAS. In experiment 1, residual feed consisted mostly of fines (∼73%), and nutrient composition of the feed was similar on each day (P > 0.05). In experiment 2, P:F and Cu concentration varied day by day (P < 0.001), owing to feed flow dynamics in the feed bin. Only proline varied by FPL (P = 0.050). Neither day of sample collection nor FPL affected crude protein, crude fiber, ash, gross energy, and phytase activity of the feed (P > 0.05). Overall, these data support augering high P:F feed through short feed lines for an even distribution of nutrients throughout the house.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100398
JournalJournal of Applied Poultry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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